News over the weekend – January 27, 2008
+ “Hotline between Coast Guards of India and Pakistan working well.”
+ “Australian’s customs vessel Triton crew to be replaced by foreign workers?”
+ “Will Canada Reconsider Canceled Radar Program?”
The Hindu reported that the establishment of a hotline between coast guards of India and Pakistan is working well. The arrest of fishermen by Pakistan and India when they stray into each other’s waters is fast becoming a thing of the past with the establishment of a “hotline” between the Coast Guard and the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency. “Now, if an Indian fishing boat enters Pakistan waters, they call us to shepherd it back to our side instead of arresting the fishermen and we must have received about a dozen such calls in the past three months,” said Commander, Coast Guard Region (West), Inspector-General A. Rajasekhar. Though the hotline idea was mooted over two years ago, it started working only last November. Both sides were now talking in terms of mutual aid in joint search and rescue and even pollution control.
The crew of the Customs vessel Triton is refusing to leave the ship in protest against their sudden sacking. According to Mark Wheatley the crew of the 319 ft. Triton has helped apprehend more than 250 illegal fishermen and burned 50 illegal fishing boats of the past 12 month; “Then we get told while we’re out at sea that there won’t be a job for us when we return and are given no explanation”. He fears Gardline International, the UK-based company which owns the vessel, is replacing the Australian crew with foreign workers for cheaper labour. A picket line has been established in support of the 20 sacked merchant sailors outside the gates of Darwin’s Fort Hill wharf where the 97m Triton is docked. The Sunday Territorian has the story
Raytheon Canada officials are hoping the sale of advanced high-frequency, surface-wave radar (HFSWR) systems to Sri Lanka for maritime surveillance, as well as new research on a next-generation system, will rekindle the Canadian military’s interest in the technology. Raytheon and the Canadian Forces developed the radar system to track small boats and aircraft out to 124 miles (200 kilometers). But concerns the technology would interfere with civilian communications prompted Canada to shelve the 43 million Canadian dollar ($42 million) program. Raytheon Canada is now marketing the system to other nations. But Raytheon is hoping the Sri Lankan purchase will show the Canadian Forces that HFSWR is a system that can be a valuable surveillance tool. Reported by DefenseNews